COLUMBUS, Ohio –
No. 25 Arkansas eyed its second trip to the Sweet 16 in three years, but the Hogs could not overcome No. 6 Ohio St., falling 4-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Jesse Owens West Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio.
The match was moved indoors from the Stickney Tennis Center to the Owens Center because of inclement weather in the Columbus area.
Arkansas’ (18-11) season ends following its’ highest win total since 1989. The Hogs earned their 17th NCAA Tournament berth in school history, including their fifth in the last six years, and reached the second round for the sixth time in their last seven tournament appearances.
The Razorbacks stood toe-to-toe with one of the nation’s most potent doubles lineups. After splitting No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, Arkansas, which featured three new doubles teams in the Columbus Regional, led 7-5 at No. 3, but the Hog pair of Adrians Zguns and Austin King could not hold off OSU’s Devin Mullings and Chris Klingemann. The Buckeye duo stormed back to clinch the doubles point for OSU, 9-8 (1).
It is the 27th time in 28 matches in 2006 the Buckeyes have won the doubles point.
Arkansas did claim a victory at No. 2 doubles as Matt Roberts and Colin Mascall knocked off Drew Eberly and Bryan Koniecko, 8-3. At No. 1, the Buckeye duo of Scott Green and Ross Wilson, the nation’s top-ranked team, bested Arkansas’ tandem of Rohan Gajjar and Blake Strode.
Roberts and Mascall secured a perfect weekend in their first two matches together, while King and Zguns split their two contests. Gajjar and Strode were 0-2, facing two of the nation’s top 15 teams.
The Hogs fell behind 2-0 when 114th-ranked Mullings bettered 74th-ranked Roberts at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-3. OSU, which improved to 27-1, took a 3-0 edge when Koniecko, ranked 33rd, upset Zguns, ranked 17th, 7-6, 6-4, at No. 1.
Ohio State won the match at No. 4 when No. 98 Steven Moneke outlasted No. 121 Blake Strode, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Due to limited court space in OSU’s indoor facility, Mascall and Michael Jung never started their matches at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.
Zguns finished the season 24-12, but the senior will play in the NCAA singles tournament later this month. Roberts finished his senior season with a 28-10 record with the victory total matching the seventh-best mark in school history. Gajjar, also a senior, finished 22-9 and Strode, a freshman, 27-7 with his win total matching UA’s 12th-best single-season total.
Ohio St., Arkansas
May 14, 2006
NCAA Tournament Second Round
1. #1 Scott Green/Ross Wilson (OSU) def. Rohan Gajjar/Blake Strode, 8-5
2. Colin Mascall/Matt Roberts (AR) def. Drew Eberly/Bryan Koniecko, 8-3
3. Chris Klingemann/Devin Mullings (OSU) def. Austin King/Adrians Zguns, 9-8 (1)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. #33 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) def. #17 Adrians Zguns, 7-6, 6-4
2. #118 Rohan Gajjar (AR) vs. #86 Chris Klingemann, 6-3, 6-7, 2-1 dnf
3. #114 Devin Mullings (OSU) def. #74 Matt Roberts, 6-4, 6-3
4. #98 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. #121 Blake Strode, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3
5. Colin Mascall (AR) vs. Dennis Martens (OSU)
6. Michael Jung (AR) vs. Ross Wilson (OSU)
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 4